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Can a good practice come from outside the partnership?

The project’s logic is to gather regions that share a common challenge and have different experience in addressing this challenge.

Based on this logic, the practices on which a project works should come from the regions involved in the project.

However, in exceptional and justified cases, a practice may come from outside the partnership.

What is a good practice?

In the context of Interreg Europe, a good practice is defined as an initiative related to regional development policy which has proved to be successful in a region and which is of potential interest to other regions.

‘Proved successful’ is when the good practice has already provided tangible and measurable results in achieving a specific objective.

Since Interreg Europe is dedicated to improving regional development policies, a good practice is usually related to public intervention. In principle, a private initiative is not considered as a good practice', unless if there is evidence that it has already inspired public policies.

Although the Interreg Europe programme primarily refers to good practices, valuable learning also derives from unsuccessful practices. Lessons learnt from unsuccessful experiences can also be taken into consideration in the exchange of experience process.

Examples of good practices can be found in the good practice database on the programme website.

For more info, watch the video (1:17 - 2:11).

What type of activities does the programme fund?

The main activities during the core phase will relate to the following:

  • exchange of experience
  • pilot actions (if relevant)

The exchange of experience between partners (also called ‘interregional learning process’) is the main catalyst for generating the expected policy improvement in the participating regions.

The typical activities related to this learning process will include:

  • seminars,
  • workshops,
  • site visits,
  • staff exchanges,
  • and peer reviews.

The learning process is based on the identification, analysis, and exchange of policy knowledge and practice from the participating regions in the policy field tackled by the project.

What are exchange of experience of activities?

The activities are the basis of the exchange of experience and can include:

  • joint thematic surveys / studies / analysis
  • interregional study visits
  • interregional thematic seminars / workshops
  • interregional peer-reviews 
  • interregional staff exchanges
  • meetings with the stakeholder group (compulsory)
  • joint pilot actions
  • participation in the Policy Learning Platform activities
  • preparation of action plans (compulsory only for regions where no policy improvement is achieved by the end of the core phase)

How to plan successful exchange of experience activities?

There are many ways to organise a successful learning process between partners and there is no ‘one size fits all’ method.The approach may depend, for instance, on the number of partners involved or on the nature of the subject addressed.

Experience gained in previous programmes has shown a variety of methods from ‘simple working methods’ based on traditional networking activities, such as thematic seminars, study visits, and staff exchanges, to a more sophisticated approach based on tools such as joint analysis, case studies, peer reviews, or joint pilot actions.

As either approach can be successful, Interreg Europe does not impose a specific methodology but, based on experience gained in previous programmes, it recommends making the learning process as simple as possible.

At the end of the day, it is up to each interregional cooperation project to propose a strategy that is tailored to the needs of the participating regions and which ensures an efficient learning process between the partners and in the stakeholder groups.

Can we do our activities online?

Projects are welcome to integrate online activities into their strategy whenever possible to minimise their environmental impact. However, this online format cannot fully replace in-person exchange.

Are meetings with stakeholder group member compulsory?

Yes, stakeholder group meetings are compulsory. They should be used to share the lessons learnt from the interregional cooperation activities with the stakeholders and allow them to input their opinions and ideas into the project.

Will each partner have to produce an action plan at the end of the core phase?

No, an action plan is compulsory only for regions where no policy improvement is achieved by the end of the core phase.

What are the phases of the project?

Projects are implemented in 2 phases:

  1. The core phase for interregional learning, dedicated to the exchange of experience among project partners and the integration of lessons learnt into the regional development policy instruments.
  2. The follow-up phase, for the monitoring of the effects of the policy improvements.

For more information, watch the video  (3:31 - 4:18).

What is pilot action?

A pilot action is an implementation-related activity dedicated to testing a new approach to public intervention.

This is usually the transfer of a successful practice from one region to another, but it can also be a new initiative jointly designed by the project.

The ultimate objective of a pilot action is that, when it is successful, it is ultimately integrated into the policy instrument addressed and therefore contributes to improving it.

For more information on pilot actions, watch the video (2:12 - 3:30).


Are pilot actions compulsory?

No. Pilot actions may be requested as a complement to the exchange of experience activities, but the latter remains the core focus of Interreg Europe projects.

How many pilot actions can we apply for?

Due to the demanding character of pilot actions, the programme can only authorise a maximum of one pilot action per region per project.

How and when to apply for a pilot action?

Requests for approval to carry out one or more pilot actions can be made at two moments during project:

  1. At application stage : In the preparation phase of the proposal, the partnership may identify an innovative practice with the potential to be integrated and/or supported under the policy instrument(s) addressed, but which needs to be tested before being rolled out. In such a scenario, the project may include, at application stage, one or more pilot actions.
  2. After the midterm review: The identification of an innovative practice which can be tested in one or several partner regions can also happen during the core phase. In this scenario, the project can request a pilot action in the semester following the midterm review meeting.

For more information, watch the video (2:10 - 5:29)

What is funded under a pilot action?

Funding will concern implementation-related activities dedicated to testing a new approach to public intervention, or initiatives jointly designed by the project.

Thus, only costs incurred and paid by the partners listed in the application form are eligible. This means that a pilot action cannot consist in transferring the project ERDF/Norwegian subsidy to third parties (e.g., through a direct subsidy to an SME).

This also means that a voucher scheme is eligible only under the condition that the service provided by the voucher is directly contracted and paid by the Interreg Europe partner.

Moreover, any external / third party organisations benefiting from the pilot actions activities must be selected in a fair and transparent way.

A pilot action budget usually stands between EUR 40,000 and 120,000 depending on the activities foreseen. It can include costs for equipement and for infrastructure and works. The costs of infrastructure and works are eligible only if they are specifically needed to implement the pilot action.

Due to the nature of pilot actions under Interreg Europe, the eligibility of costs for infrastructure and works is usually limited to small scale building materials or labour needed for works .

What are the communication requirements?

We have a list a publicity requirements that you need to keep in mind when communicating about your project:

  • Use the logo set (project main visual) on all communication materials
  • Publish information about the project on every partner institution’s website (why not link to our own project’s website)
  • Put up an A3 project poster in a clearly visible and public place at each partner institution’s office
  • Set up a plaque or billboard at the start of the physical implementation of your pilot project (if relevant)
  • Mention EU support on all documents used for the public or participants in project activities
  • Update your project website at least once every six months
  • Get a royalty-free, non-exclusive, and irrevocable license for all your project communication and visibility materials. And grant any pre-existing rights to us and the European Union.
  • In addition, you will need to:

Use the project branding rules and guidelines in your project communication

  • Participate in 6-10 programme events
  • Provide us with 1 high-quality photo
  • Produce and publish at least two short videos about the project
  • Regularly publish and update your project’s presentation on achievements
  • Organise one final project dissemination event

We provide you many templates to support you in your project communication. 

What communication activities should I include in my application?

In your application, you must include these required activities:

  • Main project visual
  • A3 poster
  • Plaque (if relevant)
  • Mention on your institutional website and social media accounts (if available)
  • Updating your project website
  • Final high-level event

You must also include up to 10 recommended activities such as:

  • The programme’s events
  • Policy Learning Platform events
  • European institution events
  • Partner State events

Finally, you should also include support activities for your project implementation. We organise various webinars and workshops for you where you can meet with other projects and exchange with them on different topics.

Don’t forget. Don’t just plan them, but include them in your budget.

What is a communication strategy?

A communication strategy sets out how communication will help you achieve your project’s overall objectives.

A strategy identifies how the project will reach those who need to be reached and what they need to hear to ensure the project is a success.

It is a roadmap that serves throughout your project’s lifetime.

Why do I need a communication strategy?

In the context of interregional cooperation, there are several reasons for this:

  • the European institutions (the European Commission in particular) wish to demonstrate to the wider public how European funds are spent 
  • the public authorities involved in projects need to show the added-value of allocating resources to cooperation and how they use public funds more efficiently as a result
  • Interreg Europe’s result-oriented approach also requires the less tangible, but no less effective policy results to be visible

How do you develop a communication strategy?

Your communication strategy is an important part of your application form and you should invest time in defining and refining it.

  1. Start by defining the communication objectives that will contribute towards your overall project objective
  2. Next, identify your project’s key target groups
  3. Define a list of the preferred and most appropriate communication channels and tools for each target group
  4. Don’t forget to include the activities that we require like the poster and the project website
  5. Plan your implementation and evaluation
  6. Finally, draw up a schedule of activities

How do I identify my communication target groups?

The easiest way to identify your target groups is to draw up a list of important people and organisations who need to know about the project and its work.

Next, group them according to their current level of engagement/ interest in the issue you tackle, and their ability to influence the outcome of your project.

Your key target groups will be those people who have a high interest in the issue you tackle and high influence on your project’s outcome.

Can I create my own project logo?

No, please do not create your own project logo.

We will give you your main visual at the start of your project. It will consist of the programme’s logo and your project’s acronym, and will comply with the Regulations and the programme requirements.

You must use your project’s main visual on all your communication materials intended for the public and for participants in your activities.

Do I need to build my own website?

No, please do not build your own website. We will provide one for you.

Your project website will have:

  • a homepage,
  • a news section,
  • an event section,
  • the good practices you’ve submitted,
  • a library for documents you wish to share with your audience,
  • a contact section,
  • and the possibility to create extra pages

You will be responsible for editing and updating your website at least once every six months.